Fallout 4 Settlement Defense

You’ve built yourself a beautiful new settlement! All seems well until a band of raiders show up to ruin your day because you decided to shower them with flowers instead of bullets! In the words of late Sci-Fi author Robert Heinlein, “An armed society is a polite society.”

So, let’s get started on defending your home!

Random settlement attacks aren’t clearly explained by the game, so it’s understandable if you got quite confused at some point of your settlement’s existence: at first, things were going fine, and then suddenly they weren’t. The frequency of raids suddenly went through the roof, you have several warning icons in your Workshops view, and you have to practically babysit your largest settlements.

How come?

The frequency with which a settlement is attacked is dependent on the amount of resources (water/food) stored in the workshop inventory. This means your bigger, more developed settlements that produce tons of resources are more prone to attack by default than a smaller settlement with little to no resources.

  • The base attack chance for your settlement starts at 2% (so, that is the absolute minimum chance per day), with a minimum of 7 days allowed between the attacks.
  • However, to that base percent is added your resource multiplier: your total stored Water + Food, divided by 10. Check your workshop inventory to get that total.

We have discussed Food and Water in another guide, if you need help with raising the production number, but let’s assume that you got 50 stored for both, for a total of 100. This amount of resources adds quite a significant 10% to the chance that you will be attacked, for a total of 12% per day.

This is the main contributor to the risk that your settlement will get attacked, and over time the numbers can get too high and cause you some headache, especially with the stolen resources. So, how can you offset the risk?

The game calculates your Settler Population and your Defense Score to get a so-called “Safety Multiplier.”

To calculate your Safety score to subtract from your chance of getting attacked (calculated in the previous section), do the following calculation:

  • Take the number of people at your settlement as it shows up in your Workshops view. Divide the total number of settlers at the location by 2.
  • Take your total Defense score from the same view and divide it by 10. (If you are still confused about placing defense objects within your settlements and assigning guards, check out our “Increasing Your Defense” section below.)
  • Add the two numbers together to get your Safety score and subtract it from the attack chance.
fallout 4 settlement defense workshops data

So, with 20 defense and 10 settlers, you can support 70 resources at the minimum percent chance of getting attacked (2%).

You may notice that the point at which the warning icon disappears inside your Pip Boy interface, is when you match your Defense score with the food and water score, added together. The advice to match your defense score to your food and water is something you may have noted from the official tutorial, as well.

Considering that you efficiently produce enough resources for the settlement to take care of itself, this advice should be optimal. However, as your settlement grows and you start producing surplus, should you start worrying about the attacks?

Depending on how long you had your settlements, you may have noticed something interesting: you don’t always need to be present during the attacks. Sometimes you may check in with the settlement sometime later and see that none of your resources and turrets are broken.

This happens because the damage inflicted by a failed attack on your settlement will be repaired by 5 every day. The key point, however, is that 0.2 is added to repair per day with every settler you have. In other words, the damage will be repaired much faster if you have more settlers.

Of course, you will still lose some resources and caps when you lose to raiders, but with a significant surplus that caused the attack in the first place you might not be heavily affected by this issue. Bottom line, it’s a good idea to match defense to your production early on and then not let settlement storage to overflow with surplus resources.

Note: If you are having severe issues with frequent attacks after installing a few mods for your game, you may want to over-install defense items and remove resources from the settlement’s storage.

In the Defense section of the Workshop menu, you will find all kinds of goodies you can string up around your settlement: from Home-Alone-style flamethrower traps to missile launcher turrets!

Okay, maybe those aren’t exactly in the style of Home Alone, but you get the idea.

fallout 4 settlement defense turret construction materials

From then on, it’s pretty straightforward: when placing a defense object, you’ll see the amount of Defense points it will provide for your settlement.

While there are automated defense items that you can place and then forget about, some basic defense items that are mechanical require power (and sometimes computer terminals) to function.

Overall, turrets work pretty well for increasing your score, since they are cheap, pretty deadly, and don’t require any settlers to man them.

Materials Needed
Machine-Gun Turret*
Steel (8), Circuitry (1), Gear (2), Oil (2)
Heavy Machine-Gun Turret*
Steel (10), Circuitry (2), Gear (2), Oil (4)
Laser Turret
Aluminum (5), Circuitry (3), Screw (3), Fiber Optics (4), Gear (2), Nuclear Material (2), Steel (5), Glass (3)
Shotgun Turret
Aluminum (4), Circuitry (5), Screw (4), Gear (4), Oil (5), Steel (6)
Circuitry (1), Screw (1), Gear (2), Steel (6), Oil (1), Glass (2)
Heavy Laser Turret
Crystal (4), Aluminum (7), Circuitry (4), Screw (4), Fiber Optics (4), Gear (3), Nuclear Material (4), Steel (3)
Missile Turret
Aluminum (6), Circuitry (6), Screw (5), Gear (5), Oil (6), Steel (6)

*Unfortunately, Machine-Gun and Heavy Machine-Gun turrets are awfully noisy, since they have integrated generators. Others do not have this issue, providing quite a relief to the ears, but they do require 2 power units each.

Another way to defend your settlements is guards. You can assign settlers to makeshift guard posts where they will stand watch at all times. It is recommended to arm your guards to the teeth. While settlers will join in the defense of any hostile attack, your guards will more than likely be taking most of the flak.

Fallout 4 Guard
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If I'm not working or spending time with the family I'm probably gaming. Some of my favorite recent games I've played are Far Cry 5, World of Warcraft Classic, and 7 Days to Die.

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